We're nearly two-thirds of the way through the Serie A season, meaning table-watching is now an acceptable activity. Take a look at Round 24's fixtures to find out which sides could really shift the Serie A standings.
Week 24 has the potential to shake up the Serie A table. While the best matches -- Juventus - Fiorentina and Lazio - Napoli -- are on Saturday, nearly every match has the potential to lift a club's fortunes. On the flip side, a few wrong results could send certain clubs tumbling further into the depths of despair. Read on to find out which sides have the most on the line this weekend.
Saturday, February 9
Juventus vs Fiorentina (6 p.m. local, 12 p.m. ET)
With the partenopei breathing down their necks, suddenly every match is a must-win for Juventus. Unfortunately for the bianconeri, lady luck hasn't been on their side. Without Sebastian Giovinco and Claudio Marchisio, the going's going to get even tougher. Then again, Fiorentina haven't been doing so well in 2013, either. An unexpected win in Turin has the potential to put them right back in the race for third, however.
Want the lowdown on this weekend's hottest matchup? We've got advice for both sides right here. With a win, Napoli could move into joint-first, alongside Juve. Victory for Lazio gives them hope, once again, of a sneaky scudetto triumph.
Sunday, February 10
all matches at 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET unless otherwise noted
Last week's win over Lazio lifted Genoa, in the hands of new manager Davide Ballardini, out of the relegation zone. But the rossoblu can't rely on a draw between Palermo and Pescara -- three points are an absolute must to make sure they stay safe. The challenge will be defeating Parma at the Tardini, as only Napoli has been successful in such an endeavor this season.
Ok, this match doesn't really have dramatic table-shifting consequences. Catania can't catch the Viola, although three points would still keep them above Roma, and that's gotta be worth some bragging rights. Maybe. Ok, no. Atalanta can lift themselves into eleventh, which isn't very dramatic, but it could mean a solid nine points above the drop.
Even a win here won't lift Siena above the drop, which is pretty darn sad. But the robur must be feeling pretty damn pleased with themselves after destroying Inter 3-1 last week. If they manage to ride that momentum into Bologna, Siena could finally be within a few points of lifting themselves out of the relegation zone.
This game is absolutely massive for Milan. Having spent the first half of the season hovering around midtable, it's impressive that three points here could see the rossoneri even with Lazio in third place. Milan are unbeaten in five, and it's difficult to think they'll go to Turin -- yeah, this match is at the Olimpico, as once again the Is Arenas is in violation of safety codes -- and drop any points. Then again, Cagliari are unbeaten in four and are coming off a 4-2 victory over Roma, so miracles just might happen.
After last week's defeat to Atalanta, Maurizio Zamparini finally gave Gian Piero Gasperni the boot. But will Alberto Malesani be able to reverse Palermo's fortunes? Even victory over Pescara won't eliminate the danger of relegation. In fact, both of these sides will almost certainly be sweating it out until the final day of the season. But this match has the potential to show us if either club will manage to stay up in the end.
Zemanlandia is no more (and just as I'd finally learned how to spell Zdenek, too). Aurelio Andreazzoli steps in to coach Roma until the end of the season, and he likely has just one mission: remind his players that defense is an essential element to the game of calcio. A European position would be nice, too. Meanwhile, Samp just want to keep moving further from the drop zone, and are likely wishing they'd played Roma last week, before Zeman was no more.
The zebrette will be seething after a controversial last minute penalty gave Milan all three points last week. Will they be able to take out their anger on Torino? If so, Udinese might manage a late-season push for Europe -- although at this point, it's tough to see why the club would actually want such an honor. Toro, on the other hand, just want to stay up, and they're doing that by becoming the draw masters of Serie A. This match is likely to end with a splitting of the points and no changes to the standings.
Inter Milan vs Chievo Verona (8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET)
The week finishes with an air of desperation. Inter, so recently making a challenge for the scudetto, have fallen into fifth, although a win could put them even with Lazio once again. What's more alarming for the nerazzurri is the fact that rivals Milan are now even with them on points. With just one win in 2013, Andrea Stramaccioni has got to be feeling the heat. Meanwhile, Chievo will be headed to the San Siro content to do nothing but grab a point and then run back out of town.